March 7, 2018

what does courage look like?


I walked into the darkroom and as my knees shook, they almost let me down; but they let me go.
I rolled it, developed it, sleeved it, and with shaky hands, set up an enlarger and made my first photo-graph. I had made this one with my two hands, from start to finish. Walking in to continue developing film and starting the process multiple times again, I would tremble at the silence of the space. Everyone there thought we each knew what we were doing, yet in reality, we probably all felt the same way; sequestered to our own thoughts and our inaction of asking questions. We thought we were photographers, we thought we were supposed to know how to do this.
Through pains of anxiety and moments in the morning in solitude, I would start to harness the intense energy rushing through me, in a way that allowed me to slow down and think clearly in the practice of not seeing with my eyes. For the first time, it was not my eyes I was looking with, I was using the feeling in my heart and hands while using the heavy trust in that everything will be okay. It simply just always is.
In quite literally having to rip my rolls of film from its exposed home, I started to understand the talent and technique my hands contain. It is innate and a knowledge all my muscles are able to learn, and most importantly, they are telling me they want to learn.
I would take a negative and spend hours in the dim dark room which allowed my images to take shape. While the paper danced in the chemicals, this was when it got to show itself. I walked into the darkroom today with a joy that was incessant. I went to the bathroom just so I could leak an "eeek" under my breath because the smile on my face couldn't contain itself.
I had kept showing up and coming back to peel away the layers of unease; and I will continue to do so.
This is what makes it all worth it.

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So, I feel like I'm starting over. I have just started to create my portfolio. It's black and white and everything in between. It's grainy and palpable and more beautiful than any screen could render.
And I am so proud to say that.

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Oh yeah, I'm turning twenty tomorrow. This is the oldest I have been, yet who knew that this would be the point where I feel like I know less than I thought I did yesterday; and less than the day before that. It's almost like the more I listen, the more I am conscious of the many things I don't know. It is so beautiful to go into each day acknowledging that you only know so little. It leaves so much room to grow.

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It is not time to grow up, just yet.


xo,
Hallie



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